Beef Industry Groups Launch New Beef Market Initiative

    CALGARY, Feb. 8 /CNW/ - On October 16, 2007 the Agriculture Minister
Groeneveld called 5 industry groups to a meeting at the McDougall Center in
Calgary. The Minister charged these groups with developing a forward looking
strategy for the Alberta beef industry. As a result, the Canada Gold Beef
concept has taken shape. This encompasses an innovative new beef value chain
which will produce and sell a family of branded beef products with
environmental, animal husbandry, and strict food safety requirements to meet
the demands of local and international customers. A formal announcement of the
program will take place at the Alberta Beef Industry Conference on February 21
in Red Deer.
    A cornerstone of the program is a collaborative, mutually beneficial
relationship amongst the cow-calf, feedlot and processing sectors of the beef
industry. Cattle feeder spokesman, Rick Paskal says, "The program will capture
value for attributes such as age and source verification, traceability, and
good production practices for all cattle in the program." While it will be
voluntary, Paskal and the group have seen interest from a large number of
producers, and initial discussions with meat packers have been extremely
encouraging. The groups involved in the discussions of this initiative have
included representatives from the Alberta Cattle Feeders' Association, the
Beef Initiative Group, the Feeders Association of Alberta, and the Western
Stock Growers' Association. According to rancher Russ Pickett, of the Western
Stock Growers Association, "it is time to take a new approach to conducting
business for cow/calf producers, feedlot operators and meat packers."
    Industry and government will be working together to ensure that a
value-added beef industry is on a competitive footing to grow the business
here and abroad. Reg Schmidt of the Feeders Association of Alberta notes that,
"we are setting up a corporate structure for Canada Gold Beef and have secured
the name and will be seeking a trade mark for the company."
    "We are very excited about this endeavor," says Cam Ostercamp of the Beef
Initiative Group. Cam is encouraging anyone tied to the beef business to
attend the 5th annual Alberta Beef Industry Conference where leaders will be
talking more about this plan in a panel discussion on February 21st. We are
encouraging producers to watch for further information on how to participate
in Canada Gold Beef.
    For details on the conference go to or call Jennifer
Brunette at the Alberta Cattle Feeders' Association, 403-250-2509 ext 22.

For further information:

For further information: Rick Paskal, (403) 894-9449; Russ Pickett,
(403) 641-2485; Cam Ostercamp, (403) 684-3397; Reg Schmidt, (780) 789-2353

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